NSC results criticism premature

Thursday, January 3, 2019

The Department of Basic Education has described the discrediting of the National Senior Certificate (NSC) by non-governmental organisation Equal Education as an attempt to gain media exposure even before the announcement of the 2018 Grade 12 results.

In a statement issued on Thursday, the department said Equal Education’s stance takes away from the individual accomplishment of each and every learner that has passed through at least 12 years of schooling and worked hard to attain this all important qualification that in many instances is a gateway to a brighter future.

“We view this as nothing more than a grotesque attempt to get media attention, which ultimately speaks to their funding model, on the back of trivialising the NSC results,” department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said in the statement.

He said the organisation has stooped to an all new low by calling the release of the results a “misleading fanfare”, yet at the same time, they request accreditation from the department to attend the very same event they are seeking to deprecate.

“If they are so concerned about the fanfare, then why do Equal Education members… want to attend?” Mhlanga said.

Earlier, the organisation accused the department of having a “narrow preoccupation” with NSC results. The department has denied this, saying this assertion as the organisation’s alone.

“The NSC results is just one of a multitude of events, activities and programmes that speak to improving all areas of the education system. At no point has the department claimed that the NSC is the only barometer with which to measure the system, it has many, this is but one, and it is an important one.

“As a system it is important to have barometers to evaluate the success of the sector, not only to celebrate when we measure improvements but also to look at where interventions need to be placed to mitigate challenges,” Mhlanga said.

The department said progress in the sector has also been confirmed in the international and regional assessment programmes, which Equal Education acknowledges, while at the same time seeking to undermine the successes of the department.

“TIMSS (2015) has confirmed that South Africa has shown the largest improvement since 2003 of any country in the world in these important assessments, with an increase of 87 points in Maths and 90 points in Science,” the department said.

The department concluded that the premature nature of the Equal Education statement can only be described as embarrassing for them, as the Minister will be addressing a multitude of important areas in her address.

“We would advise that Equal Education stop to look and listen before they criticise what they do not know,” said Mhlanga. – SAnews.gov.za